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Misunderstood Filters

July 31, 2018

Filters that handle oil can’t necessarily handle water and not all filtration systems can handle water. I bring this up because recently one of the employees at the plant needed several gallons of water glycol filtered. So, to speed the process along, he used filtration cart built for filtering oil. A job requiring filtration of water glycol brings up certain considerations. There are filters designed to take water out of oil, this was not one of those. Running water through a paper filter is a gamble at best because not all paper filters can handle the process.

Besides the filters themselves you have the issue of the canisters through which the water glycol is filtered. This may come as a surprise but metal can rust if not properly treated before water comes into contact with it. This is why stainless steel is often the metal of choice when it comes to filtration systems. Rust would otherwise be a major contaminant. Using a system not designed for treating water glycol specifically will almost guarantee rust. If rust forms it will ruin the filter much quicker.

The filters matter too. If you use a filter not made to take water glycol it will almost certainly fall apart. So, what happens when the wrong kind of filter equipment is used for these jobs? At worst it can damage the equipment, that is, the equipment to which the filtered material needs to return. It will almost certainly cause some rust on non-stainless steel or treated canisters. The filters might crumble away as well depending on the material they are built with.

If you are considering using a filter cart just once for a non-oil use consider the amount of damage you could potentially cause. No matter what some damage will be caused by not using the correct and proper equipment.  Is it really worth the short time convenience to make for yourself a long-term inconvenience and money sink?

If water glycol needs to be filtered you should never use a system built and designed for filtering oil. It can be devastating to put the wrong  kind of oil through the a system designed specifically for a another kind of oil, so water glycol is sort of on the next level of terrible and will end up costing you a lot of money.